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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Najib’s special task force to help Indians resolve citizenship woes

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 30 — The Najib administration will launch a nationwide campaign next year to resolve problems faced by Malaysian Indians who are unable to apply for citizenship.

The “My daftar” campaign, organised by the Special Implementation Taskforce for the Indian Community (SITF), will be launched on February 19 to 26 next year to help Malaysian Indians who do have proper birth, identification and citizenship documents.

The campaign, in collaboration with the Ministry of Home Affairs, would actively seek to identify individuals who either “possess a birth certificate but have not applied for a MyKad” or “those who do not possess a birth certificate and therefore are unable to secure a MyKad.”

“The campaign will also target children who do not possess a birth certificate and therefore unable to go to school as well as children and young people in residential homes run by the Social Welfare Department and voluntary organisations who do not possess sufficient documentation.

“It is also targeted at individuals above 55 years of age who were born in Malaya and who possess a red identity card and those who have applied for citizenship,” said Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam (picture) in a statement today.

According to the minister, the Registration Department office in 30 towns in nine states, namely Kedah, Penang, Perak, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Pahang, Negri Sembilan, Malacca and Johor, will set up special counters to process applications from the Indian community during the campaign period.

Subramaniam said the taskforce had already identified 902 cases of Malaysian Indians who have had difficulties in securing relevant documentation for citizenship.

“This is a major effort on the part of the federal government to come to grips with an age-old problem which is a major grievance among a sizable section of the Indian community.

“Through this campaign we are seeking to find a permanent solution to all Malaysian Indians who were not been able to secure the necessary documents thus far. I thank the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Department of Registration for their partnership and co-operation,” said Subramaniam.

The SITF was initiated by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak early this year to implement the decisions of the Cabinet Committee for the Development of the Indian community chaired by him.

The taskforce was created to monitor and strengthen delivery and implementation so that Indians in the poor and low-income groups can access public-sector services such as poverty eradication programmes, affordable housing and educational programmes.

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